SBJ Morning Buzzcast

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: November 20, 2023

Episode Summary

How F1 played in Vegas; Charlotte Hornets land big sports betting deal and Nissan makes a local play and steps up for Titans new stadium

Episode Transcription

And this is your Morning Buzzcast for Monday, November 20th. Good morning, I'm Abe Madkour. Hope you're all doing well. It seems like a week didn't go by this year when we didn't talk about F1's foray into Las Vegas on the Buzzcast. There were high expectations, there were big investments. And while there was a tough start to the racing on Friday, the bottom line is that F1 leaders and Las Vegas leaders have to be really pleased with the weekend. The numbers were estimated at more than 315,000 spectators who hit Vegas for the race, and the track and the race were both widely praised during the racing on Saturday. The LA Times called the track one of the fastest in the sport with top speeds hitting 215 miles per hour. It's also being called one of the better races of the season. As Max Verstappen continued his dominance with his 18th win of the season along the iconic strip serving as a backdrop. And the race delivered celebrities, musicians, actors, athletes, team owners, they were all spotted throughout the weekend. The event had serious buzz.

The weather cooperated and all the headlines from the weekend are positive. A Reuters report noted that even the race's biggest critics had to admit that it was a success. The crowds, the operation, the logistics all worked. Drivers were pretty universal in their compliments of the event, the crowd, the track, and the racing. So that has to be considered a success. Now, it wasn't perfect. You'll read news that a class action lawsuit was filed against the Las Vegas Grand Prix after fans were forced to leave Thursday's practice session following an hour long delay. There was a suit filed Friday on behalf of 35,000 fans who purchased tickets to that Thursday practice run. And so that's one cloud and the racing conditions on Friday weren't good, but overall, a success for F1 and for racing and for Las Vegas.

Let's move on. Golden Domers are going to be with NBC Sports for a while. Notre Dame and NBC Sports signed a multi-year extension to air Notre Dame football games, home games through the 2029 season. Along with games on NBC, one home game per year will be exclusively on Peacock. That's been the case since 2021. A new annual documentary series on the Notre Dame football program will also be on Peacock as well starting in 2024. Peacock also streams all Notre Dame hockey games. Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, said the agreement was finalized about a year ahead of schedule because of the Big Tens' expansion and NBC's edition of other college football programming from that conference. So those events triggered an early negotiating window between the school and NBC sports. Remember, Jack Swarbrick is set to retire next year in 2024. He'll be succeeded by former NBC Sports Chair Pete Bevacqua. Swarbrick said the negotiations on the new deal began when Bevacqua was still at NBC Sports. And then Bevacqua recused himself after it was announced he was moving to Notre Dame to become athletic director.

But the bottom line, Notre Dame, NBC Sports staying together through 2029. We keep talking about the global growth of North American sports properties, and here is one story that surprised me. And it's a slight setback to those goals of global growth. It was announced that Major League Baseball has had to cancel plans to play regular season games in Paris in 2025 after failing to find a promoter for the game. Now, Baseball and the Players Association agreed to the Paris game in their March 2022 labor deal. And this was going to be a big deal, of course, playing in Paris is a big spectacle. The league plans to play overseas in London, Seoul, South Korea, and Mexico City during the 2024 season, but they could not find a promoter in Paris to stage this game in 2025. So baseball's plans to play in Paris right now temporarily on the shelf.

Some big news in my home state of North Carolina, the Charlotte Hornets will become the first North Carolina based team to unveil a deal with a sports book, they signed a 10-year exclusive agreement that will make BET365 the team's official mobile sports betting operator. Giving the UK based company access to one of the 11 licenses, the state of North Carolina is expected to issue this year. Now, BET365 will have branding at the Spectrum Center. It started this past weekend. They'll also have a significant branding for the Celtics game, a Monday home game, tonight, Celtics and Hornets. Bet365 will also receive advertising and promotion on the team's radio and television broadcast. Now, the deal does not include plans for a retail sports book, though it could be added as part of future arena development. The Hornets are the fifth US PRO team sponsored by BET365, joining the Guardians, Commanders, Rockies and Spurs.

And though financial terms were not disclosed, a source familiar with the deal confirmed it will be the Hornets second-largest sponsorship in the teams' portfolio behind only the teams' arena naming rights deal. So you see the value of these sports betting deals for the teams. This will be the second-richest sponsorship in the Hornets portfolio. It's still with BET365. Let's stay with big deals because a big naming rights deal, Nissan North America and the Titans now have formally a 20-year naming rights deal that will be for the team's new $2.1 billion stadium expected to open in 2027. Now, this extends a sponsorship that has been in place since Nissan titled the current stadium in downtown Nashville in 2015. Now, terms were not disclosed. SBJ first reported an agreement in principle in October. So why is this big for Nissan? Well, about half of Nissan's 22,000 North American employees work in Tennessee.

So this is a big local play. The stadium will include space for Nissan brands and their technology showcase. Nissan also gets a presence and team owned and operated media. Details of the stadium are not finalized, and so now by getting in early Nissan has a chance to weigh in on certain parts of the stadium design. Now, Elevate Sports Ventures advise the Titans on naming rights. Nissan United, that's an alliance of agencies that work together for Nissan advise the car company. And remember, this stadium in Nashville will be a very big deal. The Titans will cover about $860 million of the $2.1 billion projected costs of the new stadium with state and local governments covering the rest. A lot of big events will be at this new Titan Stadium or Nissan Stadium, including future Super Bowls, potential Final Fours, CFPs.

There's a lot of buzz about this building. And now Nissan has its name as title sponsor of Nissan Stadium in Nashville in a new 20-year deal. And so that is your Morning Buzzcast for Monday, November 20th. I am Abe Madkour. Thanks for listening to the Buzzcast. Stay healthy, be good to each other. I'll speak to you tomorrow.